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Leave it to Bruce McDonald to put a twist on the usual zombie fare.


Leave it to Toronto auteur Bruce McDonald--adapting the Tony Burgess novel Pontypool Changes Everything--to splice the zombie movie and a light comedy on communication into an entirely new monster. Using a single-location setting and a handful of performers--the community radio station, with a crusty on-air host and producers, akin to Oliver Stone's Talk Radio--and adding elements of Dawn of the Dead and Assault on Precinct 13, MacDonald engineers a suspenseful ride where most of the action takes place off-screen, forcing the audience to connect the dots in its imagination. If you don't yet know how the flesh-eating zombie virus is spread, avoid those details before you see the movie, the bizarre concept is one of the film's pleasures. McDonald is a playful filmmaker: from the reality TV satire The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess to the multiple screens of The Tracey Fragments, he's at least as interested in messing with the form of cinema as he is with the content. Pontypool is equally self-conscious, and though not entirely satisfying in its conclusion--stay after the end credits for something really peculiar--McDonald is having infectious fun.

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Director: Bruce McDonald

Writer: Tony Burgess

Producer: Jeffrey Coghlan and Ambrose Roche

Cast: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts, Boyd Banks, Tony Burgess, Rachel Burns, Raffaele Carniato and Daniel Fathers0135

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